Mapping Alaska and the Arctic: Researcher available to discuss project announced today by White House

Michael Willis is an earth and atmospheric sciences research associate at Cornell University and a member of the research team for ArcticDEM – a project announced today by the White House that will develop a high-resolution topographic map of the Arctic that, for the first time, will provide consistent coverage of the entire region to better monitor the effects of climate change.

He is available to answer questions about the project, his work and the Arctic region in general.


About the project

The ArcticDEM project will produce digital elevation models with a resolution of between two and eight meters, for all Arctic landmasses north of 60 degrees north latitude, including all of Alaska, Greenland and Kamchatka. The project’s results will be made freely available to researchers and will allow for comparison of the landscape over time to observe patterns of erosion and other natural processes, some of which are accelerating as the Arctic warms. The project is a collaboration between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the National Science Foundation, with researchers from Cornell University, the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University.

White House Fact Sheet:

About Michael Willis
Willis has spent his career researching and monitoring the health of ice sheets in Alaska, Greenland, Patagonia, the Russian Arctic and Antarctica. He has used digital elevation mapping to make several discoveries, including two detailed below.


Atmospheric warming heats bottom of Greenland ice sheets:

Patagonian ice field melting 1.5 times faster than in prior years: